Magazine article American Libraries

La. Obscenity Complaint Leads to 3-Hour Closing

Magazine article American Libraries

La. Obscenity Complaint Leads to 3-Hour Closing

Article excerpt

The Harahan branch of the Jefferson Parish (La.) Library was closed for three hours July 19 as police executed a search warrant following a parent's obscenity complaint. Police obtained the warrant after library Director Joan Adams and parish attorney Tom Wilkinson declined to turn over computer sign-up logs without a court order.

The parent, Connie Fox, had complained to library staff July 18 that her two daughters, ages 12 and 14, had seen a man masturbating at a library computer the evening before. Dissatisfied that staff responded to her complaint by sending a memo to Adams, Fox called police, who eventually seized one of the branch's five Internet terminals and the computer sign-up logs for the evening in question.

The Jefferson Parish Council voted July 26 to request the Library Department and the parish attorney to review library policy concerning Internet access on library computers. "I think the council will stick with the one-computer policy," Adams told American Libraries, referring to the council's December 1999 decision to install a filter on one computer at each of the library's 15 branches by summer's end. …

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